Oleander disease in Southern California?

I live in San Diego North County. My neighbor is going to cut down his 25 year old Nerium Oleander Hedge (Sister Agnes). He said there is a scorched leaf disease that kills all Oleander shrubs. He is doing this on the advice of his landscaper - who is biased, of course, because it means several thousand dollars worth of business for him.
I was just going to plant another 15 Oleanders as a hedge.
Without sensation mongering by the media, just how much of a real threat is this disease? All nurseries are selling Oleanders like crazy. There are many thousand of miles of Oleanders on the median strips of Southern California Freeways.
Would be nice to get an HONEST status report on what is going on.
Plant or not to plant, that is the question.
Thank you
Walter
P.S. If it is a really bad idea to plant oleanders, what could be recommend as a replacement: Blooms all summer, drought resistant, minimum ten feet tall, nice looking, fast growing.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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wrote:

Your county extent ion agent can give you the information you want. Caltrans has tons of the stuff and the state has done as much investigation as can be done.
We also have a resource, UC Davis, that is quite good at releasing information.
Check here: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7480.html
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Thank you. It suppose this is the end of Oleanders in California. Really too bad.
--
Walter
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wrote:

Sounds like it. Some plants may be tolerant or possibly immune, there's always that hope.
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It's killing out huge stands of Oleander in S.Central Texas. A friend of mine who has property in Greece and she is also experiencing scorch on her plants.
Not all landscapers are the devil.
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On 1/3/2008 9:54 AM, Walter R. wrote:

I had large white oleanders up the sides of my hill and smaller hot-red oleanders across the top of the hill. They were beautiful in bloom, and the bloom period lasted quite long through the late spring to early fall.
When my hill slipped in the heavy rain storms in January 2005, it had to be regraded. That meant ALL vegetation had to be removed, including two very productive grape vines that prevented parts of the hill from sliding.
The regrading was done this summer. My hill was recently replanted. I wanted to go with the same oleanders, but both the grading contractor and landscape contractor advised against replanting them. Both contractors said that newly planted oleanders would survive only 5 or fewer years. It made no difference in money to my landscape contractor since most shrubs cost the same.
I now have Rhaphiolepis 'Majestic Beauty' up the sides. These should grow tall enough to hide the chain link fences that separate my hill from my neighbors' to either side. Across the top, I have coast rosemary (Westringia fruticosa, not a true rosemary). This will barely hide the chain link fence at the top, without growing so tall that the neighbors uphill from me will complain about their views being blocked. I told my uphill neighbors that they were free to trim the Westringia to the same height as the fence. (One uphill neighbor already complains that my evergreen ash (Fraxinus uhdei) blocks his view. The other neighbor praises the same tree for giving privacy to his back yard.)
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Up here in Redlands, CA we've lost at least 40% of our oleanders across the city. My partents lot is on a raise corner. So, this 150ft (?) of curdside slope was a third of their lot. It was all oleanders. Most died and they were all cut to the ground. I don't miss them, but it sure is ugly now.
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